Sarah Picciotto

Sarah Picciotto

Creating her own company and team was a rollercoaster that was worth the ride and led Sarah to foster happiness in law.

Sarah Picciotto’s team includes a screenwriter, a musician and an acrobat. But they are also Gold Medalists, former appellate law clerks, and experienced litigators. No, she does not work in the entertainment industry, she runs OnPoint Legal Research. Sarah’s team are lawyers, and high achieving ones at that, but working for OnPoint gives them time and energy to keep their other interests alive. 

It took 20 years and a lot of ups and downs, but with OnPoint, she has created a place for exceptional research and litigation skills to flourish. 

By the time Sarah graduated, she did not know for sure what she wanted to do. Sarah loved clerking and wished she could do it forever. This was not possible, so Sarah moved on to articles at a litigation firm, hoping she would find a love of that as well. Sarah put in a good effort, but soon realized it was not for her. 

Sarah refocused to concentrate on the research and writing that she loved. Her venture started small, with Sarah taking on contract work for primarily one client. Firms are often, understandably, quite untrusting of outside professionals working on their cases. It took a lot of work for Sarah to build trusting relationships and a good reputation. While focusing on building a client base and doing the research work itself, she also dedicated time to marketing and developing other aspects of business ownership. The journey was fun and gave Sarah experience in new and exciting areas, but it was also turbulent at times.

After five years of doing all the research work and running her firm, Sarah started to build a team. She figured that she was not the only lawyer out there who loved research and writing but avoided the courtroom and the time commitment of firm work - and she was right. There are a lot of accomplished lawyers out there who are looking for flexibility and time to focus on family and other pursuits. 

Sarah rode the rollercoaster of starting OnPoint so that others would not have to. Now, she offers her team the workplace and lifestyle of their choosing. OnPoint does not have an office, so everyone works from home (or their patio, library, or coffee shop…). 

OnPointers can get their work done while their kids are in bed, between gigs, fitness classes, or jags of creative writing. 

Sarah feels incredibly lucky that all of her hard work has panned out. She could have never imagined her current career when she was in law school and is glad she always kept an open mind. Sarah loves the variety in what she does. She enjoys focusing on the marketing and client management side of the business. She is confident in her associates’ abilities to complete the research and drafting work, and OnPointers love that Sarah markets and sells OnPoint’s services while they focus on the substantive legal work.

The idea of only putting 15-25 hours a week into law work might make some lawyers nervous. But Sarah says that working at OnPoint, you can do remarkably well financially in what is a part-time gig. You may not make what a partner makes, but the only actual work required is spent directly on client work. Associates don’t have to worry about building their business, marketing themselves, and reading a mountain of emails every day. 

If you are interested in focusing solely on legal research and writing, Sarah emphasizes the importance of getting some experience litigating before diving in. It can be hard and uncomfortable, but it will help you understand what a lawyer needs in practice and ultimately will make you better at your research job. Even one year of practice after articling is helpful. 

If you want to start your own legal research business, or a business of any kind, keep in mind that there will likely be a long period of time at the beginning where you need to prove yourself and ride the rollercoaster.

Sarah believes that everyone who is in an unhappy work situation can find something better. No one should feel stuck doing a job that they hate. If you are craving new opportunity, keep your eyes and mind open so that you don’t miss it. If OnPoint seems like the right fit for you, good news! Sarah is always looking for legal research and writing talent. For more information, visit OnPoint’s website.   

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